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Jakarta Post

Five dead after landslides at illegal gold mine in Bogor

  • Theresia Sufa

    The Jakarta Post

Bogor, West Java   /   Tue, May 14, 2019   /   01:31 pm
Five dead after landslides at illegal gold mine in Bogor Security and search and rescue personnel along with local residents rescue victims of landslides at illegal mining sites on Mount Pongkor, Bogor, West Java, on May 13. (Photo Courtesy of Bogor Police/-)

Five people have died after being buried by landslides at an illegal gold mine on Mount Pongkor, Bantar Karet village, Nanggung district, Bogor, West Java, on Sunday following hours of heavy downpours.

“Five unidentified bodies have been found while three people who survived were identified only as UUS, 35, Bantar Karet village resident Dede, 30, and Cisarua village resident Dika, 24,” spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Monday as reported by tribunnews.com.

He said unstable soil structures combined with heavy rains triggered the landslides that buried dozens of miners. No specific data was provided on how many illegal miners were at the sites but Sutopo said there were around 20 miners working that night, according to information from locals.

A search and rescue team faced challenges in rescuing the victims as the landslide took place on very steep terrain.

“The field is very challenging and rescues could only be carried out manually,” Sutopo said, adding the team was assisted by volunteers and locals.

Bogor Police spokeswoman Adj. Comr. Ita Puspita Lena said the incident took place at around 10 p.m. on Sunday following heavy rain in Bogor. Soon after being notified about the incident, a joint team of local Police, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and locals rushed to the location and combed the area to find victims.

The search was halted due to bad weather and the search was continued on Monday.

Pongkor is known to attract miners who illegally search for gold despite lacking skills and proper tools. It was not the first fatal incident as 12 miners died after being buried by landslides in Pongkor in 2015. (vla/rin)